Saturday, April 3, 2010

Before the Sun Rises

I awoke at five. I showered and eagerly ate the stale pastry I bought the day before. My tuk-tuk driver was waiting outside to take me on my morning tour of the Angkor temples. I was dressed with the heat of the late morning in mind, and felt chills in the air from the cold wind. We arrived and in the dark distance some shadows of the temples loomed. I crossed the long stone bridge out to Angkor Wat careful as not to twist an ankle. I was early even for most tourists. I climbed through the temples gates and walked towards the main part of the temple complex. There were some vendors selling drinks and breakfast and some other tourists. I found a seat on the some stones by the edge of a shallow reflecting pool. I sat and waited. As the sun began to rise the temples came more and more into view and the colors of the sky changed from purples to reds. The only annoyance was three male college age tourists behind me complaining about how early it was. I found some irony in their annoyance. I didn't wait until the sun was late in the sky to enter the temples. I took advantage of the patience and sleepiness and toured the temples while most were still sitting in their comfortable chairs waiting for the sun to be full in the sky. I was nearly alone in the massive temple complex of Angkor Wat. I ventured through it and was to photograph relief after relief in peace. A temple guard asked me if I wanted to go up to top of the complex before it opened and while I normally might not do so, I paid him five dollars to take me to the top illicitly. So while most were watching the end of the sun rise from outside the temple, I was able to view it from the very top of the temple with full views of the surrounding plains. The temple was eerily quiet and peaceful considering this is the very reason many had come to Cambodia.  Check out the FLICKR photostream for more pictures of Angkor.

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

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